The Sting II (1983)

PG | 102 mins | Comedy | 18 February 1983

Director:

Jeremy Kagan

Writer:

David S. Ward

Producer:

Jennings Lang

Cinematographer:

Bill Butler

Editor:

David Garfield

Production Designer:

Edward C. Carfagno

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

       The 22 Jul 1975 DV announced plans for a sequel to The Sting (1973, see entry) by producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown for Universal Pictures. Although Zanuck and Brown left Universal before the film was completed, they were still entitled to royalties, as noted in the 8 Jun 1981 DV. Almost two years after the 22 Jul 1975 DV announcement, the 30 Apr 1977 LAT reported that the completed screenplay by David S. Ward would likely be rewritten by Carl Gottlieb. According to a news item in the 9 May 1977 DV, actors Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason were cast in the leading roles.
       On 27 Jul 1977, LAT included Lily Tomlin in the cast. The film, provisionally titled The Sting, Part II, was to feature Paul Newman and Robert Redford reprising their roles, with a screenplay by Ward. However, both actors declined the sequel, and the revised screenplay by Robert DiLaurentiis was set in 1950s Miami, FL. A news item in the Jan 1982 Playboy included Peter Boyle and Walter Matthau as prospective replacements for Newman and Redford. Principal photography was scheduled for Jun 1978, with Frank Marshall as producer, and Tony Bill as executive producer. Three years later, the 7 Jul 1980 HR reported that Victor Spinetti and Anthony Shaffer were writing a Sting 2 screenplay for producer Jennings Lang. In the 25 Aug 1980 DV, Lang described the sequel as being set in the 1940s, with a new set ... More Less

       The 22 Jul 1975 DV announced plans for a sequel to The Sting (1973, see entry) by producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown for Universal Pictures. Although Zanuck and Brown left Universal before the film was completed, they were still entitled to royalties, as noted in the 8 Jun 1981 DV. Almost two years after the 22 Jul 1975 DV announcement, the 30 Apr 1977 LAT reported that the completed screenplay by David S. Ward would likely be rewritten by Carl Gottlieb. According to a news item in the 9 May 1977 DV, actors Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason were cast in the leading roles.
       On 27 Jul 1977, LAT included Lily Tomlin in the cast. The film, provisionally titled The Sting, Part II, was to feature Paul Newman and Robert Redford reprising their roles, with a screenplay by Ward. However, both actors declined the sequel, and the revised screenplay by Robert DiLaurentiis was set in 1950s Miami, FL. A news item in the Jan 1982 Playboy included Peter Boyle and Walter Matthau as prospective replacements for Newman and Redford. Principal photography was scheduled for Jun 1978, with Frank Marshall as producer, and Tony Bill as executive producer. Three years later, the 7 Jul 1980 HR reported that Victor Spinetti and Anthony Shaffer were writing a Sting 2 screenplay for producer Jennings Lang. In the 25 Aug 1980 DV, Lang described the sequel as being set in the 1940s, with a new set of lead characters, three male and two female. The 20 May 1981 LAT announced the film’s latest working title, The Sting II: That’s Why the Lady Is a Tramp, scripted by Dean Riesner . Lang offered Two Guys from Milwaukee as an alternate title. A news item in the 4 Aug 1981 HR reported that actor Richard Burton was cast in the role of “Doyle Lonnegan.” According to the 7 Aug 1981 DV, the impending production would be directed by Jack Smight. However, on 26 Aug 1981, HR announced a start date in early Nov 1981 for The Next Sting , under the direction of Jeremy Paul Kagan. The fifty-five-day production schedule included locations in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, CA. Casting was underway for fifteen available roles, as stated in the 14 Sep 1981 DV. The 10 Nov 1981 DV reported the start of principal photography that day, and included actor William Prince among the cast. Although he is not credited onscreen, Prince appeared in the film as “Tuxedo.” A Sep 1982 release was mentioned in the 16 Dec 1981 MPHPD. As stated in the 31 Dec 1981 DV, Jackie Gleason performed his own billiard shots on camera, winning a $1,000 bet with Jennings Lang.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the characters “Fargo Gondorff” and “Jake Hooker” were based on a pair of famous confidence men, and bore no resemblance to the characters portrayed by Newman and Redford. The production required “more than 45 interior and exterior sets,” and included such locations as the Variety Arts Theater, the Rex Ristorante, the Main Street Gym, Union Station, the Olympic Auditorium, and the Santa Monica Pier in the Los Angeles area, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park in Northern CA, where rain, snow, and below-freezing temperatures conflicted with the “Indian Summer” setting described in the screenplay. Most locations were altered by production designer Edward C. Carfagno to fit the period. Costume designer Burton Miller chose to portray “the essence” of 1940s fashion rather than duplicate it, and adapted Jackie Gleason’s wardrobe to suit the actor’s personal taste. Miller died several weeks after photography was completed. Director Jeremy Paul Kagan set the tone for the production by dressing in period clothing and playing cassette recordings of 1940s music on set. A boxing sequence, filmed at the Olympic Auditorium, featured former US Senator John Tunney portraying his father, prizefighter Gene Tunney. Actor Mac Davis sustained a broken rib during the staged boxing match, which he attributed to his attempt to enhance the action by “flying through the air” before landing on his rib cage. Principal photography was completed 25 Jan 1982.
       The picture, officially titled The Sting II, was previewed by AFI on 10 Feb 1983, during an event to honor alumnus Jeremy Paul Kagan, as reported in the 17 Jan 1983 HR. The 26 Jan 1983 Var advertised 5 Feb 1983 preview screenings in more than fifty cities throughout the U.S. The film opened 18 Feb 1983 to mixed reviews.
      End credits include the following statements: "Filmed in part at the Santa Cruz Beach boardwalk"; "Original sound track album available on RCA Records and Tapes"; "The filmmakers of The Sting II respectfully honor the memory and talents of Burton Miller"; "We celebrate the life of a great woman, a true friend and an inspiring creative force in film--Verna Fields."
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
22 Jul 1975.
---
Daily Variety
9 May 1977.
---
Daily Variety
25 Aug 1980.
---
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1981.
---
Daily Variety
8 Jun 1981.
---
Daily Variety
7 Aug 1981.
---
Daily Variety
10 Sep 1981
p. 1, 18.
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1981.
---
Daily Variety
10 Nov 1981.
---
Daily Variety
20 Nov 1981.
---
Daily Variety
31 Dec 1981.
---
Daily Variety
17 Feb 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 1983
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 1983.
---
LAHExam
20 Oct 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
30 Apr 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Jul 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 May 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Feb 1983
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Dec 1981
p. 55.
New York Times
18 Feb 1983
p. 10.
Playboy
Jan 1982.
---
Variety
19 Jan 1983
p. 21.
Variety
26 Jan 1983.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Also Starring:
Also Starring:
Co-Starring:
Co-Starring:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Universal Picture
A Jennings Lang Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA intern
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Panaglide op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Key grip
2d grip
Best boy
Best boy
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed by
Asst ed
Negative cutter
Negative timer
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Leadman
Standy painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
MUSIC
Orig mus and adaptation by
Mus ed
Orch
Mus scoring mixer
Piano solos
SOUND
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
ADR ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff by
Matte photog
Spec eff
Title des by
Illustrator
Titles and opt eff
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod secy
Assistant to the prod
Transportation capt
Pub supv
Unit pub
Auditor
Craft services
Transportation co-capt
AFI Academy intern
STAND INS
Boxing choreog and stung seqs coord by
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Heliotrope Bouquet," by Scott Joplin and Louis Chauvin
"The Chrysanthemum," "A Breeze From Alabama," "Cleopha," "The Entertainer," "Bethena," by Scott Joplin.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Next Sting
The Sting II: That's Why the Lady Is a Tramp
The Sting, Part II
Two Guys from Milwaukee
Release Date:
18 February 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 18 February 1983
Production Date:
10 November 1981--25 January 1982
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 March 1983
Copyright Number:
PA167842
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Panaflex® camera and lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
102
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26706
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1940 New York City, a man known as Kid Colors is tortured and killed as retribution for his role in swindling $500,000 from Doyle Lonnegan, a crooked banker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His henchman, Carlos, spreads the rumor that Brooklyn, New York, nightclub owner and pimp Gus Macalinski, known as “the Wolf” for his reputation as a womanizer, is responsible for the Kid’s killing, while Lonnegan plans the murder of confidence man Jake Hooker. Elsewhere in the city, Jake and his friend, Eddie, attempt to swindle Countess Veronique Le Fleur and her companion, Lady Dorsett, who turn the tables on them. Jake receives a telegram from his friend, Fargo Gondorff, inviting him to Florida. Jake and Eddie raise train fare by stealing off-duty police officer Francis O’Malley’s wallet. Meanwhile, Carlos trails the two men and informs Lonnegan of their plans. In Florida, Jake and Eddie discover that Fargo is serving a two-year sentence in federal prison and will be released within a few days. Fargo tells them about Kid Color’s murder, placing blame on Gus Macalinski. The three men return to New York City and meet with business associates “Handicap,” “Big Ohio,” “Doc Brown,” and “Tuxedo” in the back room of a Chinese laundry, where they concoct a “sting” to cheat Macalinski out of a fortune. While Fargo establishes headquarters at Golding’s gymnasium, Jake purchases boxing equipment at a department store, where he encounters Countess Veronique Le Fleur. Jake accuses her of being a pickpocket and alerts the store manager, who discovers O’Malley’s wallet in the countess’s handbag, and her coin purse in Jake’s pocket. After both are ... +


In 1940 New York City, a man known as Kid Colors is tortured and killed as retribution for his role in swindling $500,000 from Doyle Lonnegan, a crooked banker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His henchman, Carlos, spreads the rumor that Brooklyn, New York, nightclub owner and pimp Gus Macalinski, known as “the Wolf” for his reputation as a womanizer, is responsible for the Kid’s killing, while Lonnegan plans the murder of confidence man Jake Hooker. Elsewhere in the city, Jake and his friend, Eddie, attempt to swindle Countess Veronique Le Fleur and her companion, Lady Dorsett, who turn the tables on them. Jake receives a telegram from his friend, Fargo Gondorff, inviting him to Florida. Jake and Eddie raise train fare by stealing off-duty police officer Francis O’Malley’s wallet. Meanwhile, Carlos trails the two men and informs Lonnegan of their plans. In Florida, Jake and Eddie discover that Fargo is serving a two-year sentence in federal prison and will be released within a few days. Fargo tells them about Kid Color’s murder, placing blame on Gus Macalinski. The three men return to New York City and meet with business associates “Handicap,” “Big Ohio,” “Doc Brown,” and “Tuxedo” in the back room of a Chinese laundry, where they concoct a “sting” to cheat Macalinski out of a fortune. While Fargo establishes headquarters at Golding’s gymnasium, Jake purchases boxing equipment at a department store, where he encounters Countess Veronique Le Fleur. Jake accuses her of being a pickpocket and alerts the store manager, who discovers O’Malley’s wallet in the countess’s handbag, and her coin purse in Jake’s pocket. After both are ejected from the store, the countess introduces herself as Veronica Sherman. Jake is sufficiently impressed with her skills and offers her a job as a member of the team to exploit Macalinski’s weakness for the opposite sex. The next day Golding’s Gym, Jake receives his boxing license and his alias, Bobby Florian. He tells Fargo about Veronica, sheepishly revealing that she “reverse conned” him two weeks earlier. At Fargo’s urging, Veronica admits to her real surname, Crinklaw. The next evening, she enters Macalinski’s Ocean Club and draws the owner to her table. Fargo appears within seconds and introduces himself as Trevor Plantagenet. Veronica, who calls herself Elizabeth Windsor, pretends to be enamored with Fargo. He opens a bottle of champagne and the spray removes Macalinski’s toupee. Attempting to overcome his humiliation, Macalinski challenges Fargo to a game of pool, then to a game of Three Card Monte. Fargo wins both, and Macalinski leaves the club in a fit of anger. Outside, Jake tells Macalinski he has information on “Trevor Plantagenet.” Macalinski invites Jake, posing as “Bobby,” to join him for a rollercoaster ride. As the coaster speeds along the track, Jake explains that Fargo is his manager, and wants him to intentionally lose his upcoming fight against boxer Chico Torres. Jake intends to win the fight, and asks Macalinski for protection against a reprisal from Fargo in exchange for half of the $6,000 prize. After Macalinski promises to consider the offer, Jake encounters O’Malley. He eludes the officer and takes refuge in the Chinese laundry, where Fargo and his team are waiting for him. Fargo assures Jake that Macalinski will accept the offer, and advises him stay in hiding to avoid O’Malley. When Carlos updates Lonnegan on Jake’s activities, the banker happily anticipates the murder of his adversaries by Macalinski. Meanwhile, Jake trains with Big Ohio, but shows little promise. However, when Macalinski visits the gym, they stage a sparring match and Jake knocks Big Ohio out of the ring. That evening, Jake informs Macalinski that Fargo is betting on Torres, and has arranged with bookmaker Tuxedo to increase the odds of Jake winning to attract more bets. Though Macalinski is intrigued, he refuses to commit until he sees Jake fight a professional boxer, which he arranges for the following day at the 8th Street Gymnasium. Jake leaves the meeting and evades O’Malley a second time. Carlos intercepts the policeman and takes him to see Lonnegan, who pays O’Malley to leave Jake alone until the sting is completed. After learning of Jake’s dilemma, Fargo devises a plan to evacuate the gym, staff it with his own people, and drug Jake’s competitor. When Jake wins, Macalinski agrees to protect him, and places a $400,000 bet with Tuxedo. Jake returns to Golding’s and has a romantic interlude with Veronica. Confident of a victory by Torres, Lonnegan bets $1 million with a bookmaker named King Rafferty. Lonnegan directs O’Malley to the Chinese laundry, where he is expected to kill Jake and Fargo if Macalinski fails. The banker also introduces O’Malley to his informant, Samantha Scanlon, alias Veronica Crinklaw. On the night of the boxing match, Fargo instructs Jake to feign defeat in the sixth round, although Jake doubts he will last that long. While the fight is underway, Lonnegan informs Macalinski that Torres is the predetermined winner. On their boss’s instructions, Macalinski’s thugs reassign the bet to Torres and bring Tuxedo to the stadium at gunpoint. Believing their friend’s life is in danger, Fargo instructs Jake to knock out Torres in the sixth round. Jake wins, despite his self-doubt, and is equally puzzled by Veronica’s sudden absence. Fearing revenge from Macalinski, Lonnegan and Carlos run from the stadium, only to be ambushed in their car. O’Malley leads a police raid on the Chinese laundry and is greeted by a messenger, who delivers a bouquet of flowers and a derisive message from Fargo. On their way to the train station, Fargo explains that he hired Veronica to infiltrate Lonnegan’s gang several months earlier. King Rafferty and Torres are also members of the organization. Fargo and his team board a westbound train, but Jake waits on the platform, hoping for Veronica’s arrival. Moments after leaving the station, the train stops and Veronica disembarks. She tells Jake that she will be taking care of him from now on, as instructed by her father, Fargo. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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